In the midst of a busy school morning, I was alerted to a homeless man being on the school property during our morning drop off procedure. I immediately thought of all the things I needed to do and that I “did not have time for this today.”
School security and keeping our campus safe for our students is always upper most in my mind, and as I approached the man I was focused on “getting rid of this problem” because I had other things that needed to be done.
The man in need was docile and praying his rosary on the bench in front of church. He was a little confused and could not understand why I needed him to leave the property while the children were present. I determined that I needed to call 911 and let the police “take care of the problem.”
When the police officers arrived I asked them if there were any county services that could provide some assistance. We discussed possible solutions and presented them to our visitor.
My mind went immediately to sending out an e-mail to our parents to let them know what had happened and what actions had taken place. Within a few minutes of hitting “send,” I was overwhelmed with responses from parents asking how they could help – did we need money to give to the man, did he have a place to stay, had we checked out some of the county services and offered them to the man – concern – compassion – resources.
I was taken aback – quickly reminded of how I had missed the presence of God right in my midst – too busy and worried about my stuff. I was reminded of Pope Francis’ constant message to care for those who are in need – to be selfless. I was reminded of Mary and Joseph being turned away but finding comfort in a manger.
Thank you to those parents and families who quickly and gently reminded me that I missed the Message, I missed the Presence, I missed seeing the Face of God in another person. Go Warriors!
Mary, mother of all, help us to serve you by filling the hungry with good things.
This past weekend I had the wonderful honor of being part of Wreaths Across America (WAA), a program that donates Christmas wreaths to be laid at all of our National Cemeteries. Along with some of my family, we traveled to Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath on my Uncle Tommy’s grave. I never met my Uncle Tommy, he died at the age of 19 at Iwo Jima, but his brothers and sister kept his memory alive with stories of him growing up in Wilkes Barre, PA.
I come from a family that has ultimate respect for the military. My father and two uncles served as Marines, another uncle and cousin served in the Army. On my mother’s side, an uncle and cousins served in the Air Force and an uncle was a member of the U.S. Navy.
As I witnessed the reverence and respect that people showed during this morning of service to our fallen military service men and women, I began to reflect upon WAA’s mission: Remember, Honor, Teach. I found myself wondering this: do we follow this mission in helping our students and young people understand the sacrifices our military make for us each day in order for us to experience freedom? Do we celebrate Veteran’s Day and explain the meaning? Do children know that Memorial Day is to honor those who died in active military service and not just the beginning of the summer season?
Does Generation Y (’80’s -’00), sometimes known as Millenials, have a sense of what it means to serve our country? Do they understand the sacrifice? Do they know how to show respect for a person in uniform?Millenials have been shaped by the technological revolution that occurred throughout their youth. Being tech savvy is part of their DNA, but is appreciating history and sacrifice also a part of their DNA?
Will Generation Z (’00-to present), know how to greet someone in military? Will they know to look the service person in their eye, shake their hand and say “thank you for your service to our country?”
Perhaps families and schools need to focus on “Remember, Honor, and Teach” as part of the daily life-lessons we teach our children?